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Played by Offline e-cho [PM] Posts: 216 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,350
Night Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Light Forger // Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)

Listen, girl, there is nothing fragile about you. 
Inside you rest a host of predators, waiting to be unleashed at your command.

She thinks of his voice, how it was religion to her; sacred, pure, and offering guidance where she would have set fires. He washed over her in ways no other could; moving stones, carving canyons in the wasteland of her heart, hollowing her emotions until she became something new, something sweet. 

But he never meant for it to last. 
You cannot tether a black hole to a sun. 
One will fall and the other will explode. 

For a moment, she believed impossibilities would become possible. When her heartbeat skipped, when her breath hitched, when her eyes instinctively sought out him in the world of moving feet, moving hands, moving clothes and stinking scents that drove her crazy, Moira Tonnerre would look for *him*. 

He wasn't there. 
He would never be there again. 

A part of her crumbles at the realization. Another part is cushioned by the thick tiger fur that rests against her heaving sides. When had her breast started to tremble? How had she let herself get so lost, fall so far, from where she was before? What would Estelle say now, the phoenix wonders while she folds herself into Neerja's side. 

"Tell me a story?" The phoenix implores, whispering into the base of Neerja's neck, letting orange and black tickle her nose. 

There is a sigh and the rustling of fur, and then... 

"It is whispered, a long, long time ago before you and I were born, before the sun rose and the moon chased him through the sky, before storms slashed the seas to keep all others out and to keep us in, that our borders were open. Magic lit the skies and artists painted the heavens each night. They placed their stars up high and light singers wove into them pieces of the souls that put them there." She gives a pointed look to the Pegasus, watching as the woman in red hoists herself onto her feet. When Moira moves to stand before the mirror, beginning to braid her hair into rivers bleeding black upon her neck, Neerja continues. "There was music, ancient and dark like Caligo herself, that wound its way as a drumbeat that sounded like a heart. Some said it came from the island itself, calling others here from other worlds."

The phoenix drapes silver starlit bangles upon her wings, letting them reflect and shine with the glow of her skin. Kohl paints her eyes, pushing golden gaze further into black depths. Black holes that swallow the sun, that are too hungry to let anything go, too possessive to watch it leave. 

The tiger continues, tail curling back and forth in the candlelit chambers, "There was laughter. There was chaos. Disorder raged over the civilized world. Soon, they began to flood into the forests, into the oceans, into the deserts. Our homes were destroyed and metropolises were built. They sprung up overnight with strange magics, with wild magics." Blue eyes seem to glow with rage, with fear. "The earth recoiled where their poison began to fall. It is said that Tempus grew angry, to see his creation so desecrated by those he did not create and did not bring. With the growing of his rage, the animals began to rise up, to rebel, to attack those who came to destroy as much as they created."

Moira crosses the room, putting away the canvases whose paint has now dried. Charcoal is tucked back into a pouch, easels are pushed into a corner, and at last a curtain is pulled over it. She sweeps her eyes over the corner, wincing at the silver starlight mark upon the floor, at the brown winking beside it.
Her heart weeps. 

Neerja feels the chaos in the phoenix' chest, curls her lips at it. Fur bristles as the story goes on, as Moira prepares to leave her room at last. "There was carnage. A great divide between kingdoms came. Tempus killed them. There are skeletons at the bottom of the sea where he brought water to trickle into their lungs. There are mass graves in the jungles, unmarked and flourishing with life, carnivorous plants nourished by the bodies of those who will never rise again. With his great act of sorrow and vengeance, it is told that he closed off the borders. We were trapped, we were saved."

"That's terrible," Moira breathes at last, looking toward Neerja and wondering of a world where she would have had to fight her most beloved companion. She would rather die. 

"It is only whispers, my cub," Neerja purrs. She rises from the blankets and pillows, from the incense that wafts around the curtains, and pads over to the phoenix' side. 

Together, they burn orange and red and beautiful. Fae lights from the candles dance in the air, reflect in blue eyes that seek out gold. They always seek out gold, even when the gold looks for someone else, a god in a sea of stars. 

Like the smoke that is her voice, the pair moves silently from her chambers. Behind her, the door is sealed, locks clicking into place and key tucked into the waves of her hair. Tonight, it falls down her neck, a dark halo atop her head, and she looks beautiful if only a little dead. 

"Let's go, Neerja," she whispers. Walls still keep them apart, she closes off that which is closest to her, fear gnawing at her heart as moths do to linens left too long in the attic. First Estelle, then Caine (oh, but he is not truly gone, is he?), and then Asterion. Even Isra has been so busy that she has hardly had a chance to dine with the kin to her heart. Everyone leaves, and once again she is left alone. 

So alone. 
In the dark. 

So she slams the gates, locking herself in a fortress of ice, of pain. Only the strongest of waves make it to the tiger, and she is left to mope and glower in equal measure. Slowly, so slowly, the bonded chips away at the obsidian stone. One day, she knows, it will break open again. 

"I will always follow you," is the tiger's only response, claws tapping the stone beneath their feet, letting the phoenix know she will not leave so easily. 

Together, as one soul, as a single body, they make their way down and out of the castle. From there, Neerja slinks into the shadows to follow the Emissary's wake. 

Smiling faces turn to Moira, and she paints upon her lips that faux face so many Tonnerres wore before her. She says their names like litanies, like midnight prayers, and then they pass: ships in the night. Occasionally, the phoenix stops and talks for a while, listening to grievances or offering advice to sooth the nerves, calm the mind, ease the stomach when it expands too much or is in knots. 

She greets her people with joy, pushing that sadness into its compartment to be locked away again. 

There, among the streets, she is a dancer, she is a poet, she is a painter, she is a writer. Her eyes follow torchlight along the streets, following swaying bodies of lovers moving together - sometimes more than two joining in the party. Everything comes alive when Night opens her eyes. The people who live within Denocte are no exception. So she follows their example and throws back her head to bark a laugh, goes in circles when they begin to dance. At last she extricates herself, retreating to Neerja and tamer streets. 

Turning a corner, the phoenix finds the baker and cocoa-maker with their stalls kitty-corner to one another. A fresh smile, true all through, rests at last upon her face as she approaches them. By now they know her, for she comes twice a week to pick up sweet rolls and cocoa and roam the night, and they call out warm welcomes whenever she passes. Forward the baker rushes, toothy smile and kind eyes the first to reach her, and pecks her on the cheek. A blush steels over her face, head dipping down with a chagrined smile. The cocoa-maker embraces her next, her soft cow-brown eyes as warm as the golden wings wrapping around the Emissary. 

"Almost missed you this week," the girl chimes. 
"Fraid you got lost on your way here. The first snow always brings them out to celebrate," the baker says. 

"And miss out on good company and better sweets? Even Caligo could not stop me," she whispers conspiratorially. The two chuckle and quickly begin to gather Moira's usual order. It's ready within minutes; piping hot cocoa with flecks of cinnamon, steaming sweet rolls buttered and sprinkled with sugar - all of it is quickly packaged and handed over. 

Kissing them both on the cheek, the Emissary puts coins in their hands and settles on the bench nearby. "Even our bakers at home could not make something so wonderful as this," she offers up to the man. His grin grows and he blushes. With a mumble, he turns back to tend something else on the shelves. 

It is there she sits, there she pulls apart a roll to pop into her mouth bit by bit. Thoughtfully she devours it, unaware of the way Neerja has joined, curling by her feet and keeping watch. Every now and again, the girl with doe-eyes looks over and smiles, almost saying something and then deciding better of it. Silence is golden, resting heavy on them as a swaddle covers a babe fresh in their mother's arms.  



Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 12 — Threads: 1
Signos: 10
Night Court Youth
Male [He/Him/His] // 1 [Year 504 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Cellular Regeneration // Bonded: Saki (Vervet Monkey)

He was growing. No longer was he the small, innocent foal that suckled at his mother’s teat. No longer was he afraid to step away from her for fear that she might not return to him at night. No longer did he fear simply living. For months his mother had told him stories of his father, stories of his bravery and his love. And yet, none of those stories ever told him exactly what had happened to his father. Saki said it was because the wound was still fresh, still painful. But at almost a year old, Kibou had never met the man who had fathered him. Was that not enough time to let wounds heal?

Oh the innocence of child. Even though the colt is no longer small, but growing, he is still as innocent as the day he was born. He still does not understand the pain of love and loss. He does not understand just how much his mother loved his father, how much she had hoped and prayed for him. There are so many things he does not quite understand, but he wants to, oh he wants to so desperately.

As the snow settles over Denocte, the almost yearling makes his way through the court, this time on a very serious mission. He had discovered the coco vender weeks before and had made a habit of visiting the vender at least twice a week when his mother was too busy self-reflecting by the lake. He wished he knew how to make his mother smile, to see laughter and joy upon her face. Those were emotions that he rarely saw, perhaps only once in a blue moon. Most of the time he only saw pain, sadness, and anger - emotions that he was still too young to truly comprehend.

As he makes his way up to the coco vender, Saki sits quietly upon the back of her bonded, her small hands fisted into his mane that was beginning to flow with maturity. He orders himself one with extra whipped cream, and a smaller mug for the monkey who sits quietly upon his back.

Once he has his goods in tow, he looks around, looking for someone to talk to. Living with his mother was exhausting. He loved her…but she was not good for company. He sees Moira sitting with her tiger and he smiles as he picks up a light trot towards her, spilling a little of his coco as he goes. “Good day!” His voice still sounds young and immature, sexual maturity having not yet hit the colt full force. But despite the tone of his voice, he is starting to mature, to fill out, to be less gangly. He is growing day by day and each day Saki tells him just how big he’s getting.

Without waiting for an invitation to sit next to her, he eased himself into a relaxed position, sipping on his coco as he turns to look first at her tiger and then to her. “He has the best coco, wouldn’t you agree?” Ah, the innocence of a child. He is not concerned about politics or about war. He is only concerned with the rich chocolate that assaults his taste buds with sweet ecstasy!



Played by Offline e-cho [PM] Posts: 216 — Threads: 24
Signos: 2,350
Night Court Emissary
Female [she/her/hers] // Immortal [Year 498 Spring] // 15.2 hh // Hth: 13 — Atk: 7 — Exp: 38 // Active Magic: Light Forger // Bonded: Neerja (Malayan Tiger)

Listen, girl, there is nothing fragile about you.
Inside you rest a host of predators, waiting to be unleashed at your command.

The tigress looks first; blue buried in a cauldron of orange and black striping, pale brows and pale mouth, all turn down with displeasure at the appearance of another. Not just one, but two. Her tail slashes from side to side, discontentment growing, resentment a plague within her belly, gnawing as hounds on a corpse until all that is left are bones and damnation. Jealousy surges, and the tigress offers a warning growl to the child and his pest - for atop brown and gold dapples, nestled coyly among pale hair that twines around primate fingers, is a cream colored body with a dark face.

Neerja does not care who they are, only that they are trespassing.

Nearer still they draw, the boy calling out towards her cub happily, a twinkle in his young eyes. How young he is, unknowing of the world and the monster he could become. But of course, everything is either the hunter or the hunted to Neerja. Kept in polite society, she is still so untamed; wild and only barely held in check. Her cub's kind are not slaughtered by Neerja's paw, but were she not so bound, so tightly tied to the phoenix... who's to say it could not be so?

Pink nose turns toward orange and red skin, tapping roughly against pale white shoulder. Only when gold in a sea of black turns, coming from a fog to meet blue, does the tiger again growl. Harsher, colder, there is annoyance flickering on Neerja's face that only Moira knows to look for.

Ssk, ssk, the noise comes from dark lips that have frowned for so long now. A soft breath passes over the tigress' forehead and then she is up, tail slicing through the air with a snarl on her lips once more. Angrily the cat paced off, neither a glance nor hiss thrown back to the trio, and the wide eyes of the cocoa-maker and the baker left to stare after her.

Once her beloved retreated into the shadows, stalking the Night Markets, pouting and huffing and her hunger growing day by day, the Emissary turned to see the young charge. Something tickles her thoughts, and she thinks that there is a likeness to Katniss in this boy. Has she seen him wondering alongside her in the markets or through the Keep, she wonders? Lips purse, but they are pulled up and made to be merry for his sake.

So young, she thinks.

They are always so young - and her mind flies to another colt who writes to her from the North and sends her sweets. She cannot help but to smile, to look at the youth now and see a likeness to that boy, too. "I don't think I've met you, little warrior," she hums to him. Her voice is as soft as the marshmallows that melt in their drinks, rich gold eyes dancing, but just barely.

"I'll tell you a secret," and she grins like a conspirator, like the girl she once was when Estelle was by her side, some part of her still as wild and unchecked as Neerja. "This is one of my favorite places in all of Denocte. It's quiet, but they have the best cocoa," she agrees with a sagely nod, as though she's tried every stand and every shop in their corner of the world. It is, in fact, quite possible that the girl of stardust and sunsets had, in fact, done just that. There is a sweetness to her when children are around, a softness that comes out only for them.

It shows now.
Perhaps that will be her undoing, too.

"However," she chimes up again, like the tolling of a bell to bring the devout into their temples and others home to pray, "you can't go telling just everyone. How would we ever get our cocoa then?" The Tonnerre girl laughs then, soft as the stardust that freckles her nose. It is the same dancing torchlight that flickers to life so close to them. Should another look from afar, it seems as though fireflies flicker to life, dancing before the boy and his companion.

Oh, but she toys with those lights like waves lapping at a beach: leisurely, confidently. They buzz around the trio, they dance over the baker's stall and around the cocoa-maker's throat; they hum in his ear and sparkle in Saki's eyes. Winking gaily at the pair before her, the little lights are a constellation just for him.

"Are you the Champion's son?" She asks at last, his lightshow winking out in front of her golden eyes that devour him, that seek knowledge, that crave it almost as much as every cell in her body demands air. She could be wrong. Moira knows she has been wrong before, but she knows how to roll when she falls and get back up again.

All that matters is when you get back up and what you do afterward. That's what is remembered.

It is not the descent, it is every step before and after that will be sung and praised and judged.

Moira knows what it is to be judged. Not just by her family anymore, but the vastness of the world before her, too. So she waits, silence heavy between them once more, but she knows words will come. They are expected, and a smile sits upon the corner of her dark and sinful mouth.

"Speaking." @Kibou with love


Played by Offline Zombie [PM] Posts: 12 — Threads: 1
Signos: 10
Night Court Youth
Male [He/Him/His] // 1 [Year 504 Spring] // 16.2 hh // Hth: 15 — Atk: 5 — Exp: 15 // Active Magic: Cellular Regeneration // Bonded: Saki (Vervet Monkey)

Kibou is not scared of the tiger nor does he care that she is giving him a warning growl. In his little vision of fantasy, all he sees is a horse and a tiger, friends in the making. All he can see is joy and good in this world whereas others see death, anger, jealousy, and hate. He is the good in everyone and he sees the good in everyone. So when the tiger shows off her annoyance, the colt only offers her a tender grin to show her just a little bit of love. She may not like it nor want it, but he would give it out freely. The colt loves so easily that it is hard to not at least smile at his good nature.

He still comes closer, despite the growls of the tiger. He is not scared of her and he will not be deterred. Unfortunately, before he can even greet her with kindness, she is up and out, hastily making her way away from him. For a moment, he is sad that he cannot make introductions. Saki tells him not to worry, that she is simply a bad apple in this world that is not worth his time. But he knows better. He knows that there is goodness and kindness in the cat, He just has to look a little deeper for it.

But before his spirits could be lessoned, the other speaks up and immediately his attention is drawn to her. She calls him a warrior and he cannot help the grin that graces his lips from ear to ear. He has never been called a warrior before. He knows that’s his mother’s job and her bravery is unmatched, but he never thought of himself as one. His mother is always telling him to stay home, to hold back, to cower. He knows she’s trying to protect him but he hates it. This mare seems to see the potential in him and it makes him close the distance with his head held a little higher, his shoulders a little broader.

He settles near her, sipping his hot cocoa and feeling the sweet satisfaction of chocolate and marshmallows as they slide down his throat and that of Saki’s as well. When she offers to tell him a secret, it’s no secret that he looks up at her with wonder and anticipation, as if she will be granting him an unreturnable gift. His ears perk forward and all of his attention is on her. She agrees with his statement that this hot cocoa is the best, but she ends it with a little lesson within the truth. For a moment he lets his smile fade as he looks down into the cocoa with extra whipped cream. He contemplates her words for a moment before he looks up to her with only the innocence a child can muster. “Surely he could just make more.” It is a statement that is said with a questioning hope that the cocoa maker could simply make more to meet with the demands that all of Denocte would surely have on him. “…I want everyone to enjoy it.” The words that left his lips are nothing but the truth. The way he desires for everyone to be happy. He would grow to be a good stallion one day, one who put the hopes of others above his own wants and desires. His mother and his father would be proud of him if they could only see the small flecks of starlight that radiate from him.

Even as he takes another sip, he is in awe of the little flickers of light. He doesn’t know what they are or what has caused them, but they have his undivided attention. He stares at them with wonder and awe as he sips the hot liquid, Saki seemingly just as curious and enamored about the lights as he is. But like all good things, those end and his attention is back on the mare again.

She is asking him if he is the champion’s son and for a moment, he is confused. His mother has never referred to herself as a champion. She has never liked titles, that much he knows about his mother. Even in introductions, she introduces herself as Katniss, not Katniss, Kibou’s mother. Nor does she say Katniss of Denocte. It’s always just Katniss. “If the champion is Katniss, then yes, she is my mother.” He makes a mental note to ask her about this Champion thing the next time she sees him. Perhaps he could learn a good story from it.

But he does not stop there, Saki, sensing that Kibou hasn’t exactly completely answered the mare’s unanswered question, pulls at Kibou’s mane as a way to get his attention, as a way to remind him that he is being rude. “Oh right!” He seems to remember his manners, remembering the lessons that his mother has taught him about being rude. “My name is Kibou…and that is Saki.” He throws his head back to the monkey, to point in her direction when he offers her name. The monkey dips her head to the mare before patting Kibou’s back and turning her attention back to her hot cocoa.

@Moira - this post had a mind of it's own, sorry D:


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